Should We Care About Our Customers’ Learning Styles?October 24, 2018 | Posted by Ed Albertson in Customer Buyer Personas, Sales Training
In Carew’s Dimensions of Professional Selling® sales training program, we address four customer buyer types, or buyer personas, as a means to better understand our customers and better align our style of engagement with their preferences and expectations. Should we consider customers’ learning styles as well? To the degree that understanding buyer types helps us engage customers in the manner they prefer, might understanding their learning style help us share information in a way that is more memorable or more influential?
There are a myriad of theories and classifications for learning styles. One of the simplest and most well-known models classifies learning styles as Visual, Auditory or Kinesthetic (VAK). Consider the potential impact of this insight on your communication with customers:
Visual learners want to see what it looks like. When they visualize it, they understand it. Graphs, maps, images of any kind, even color-coding of information, will improve the impact of your message.
Auditory learners prefer listening, hearing and speaking to gain insight. They like to talk it out, and likely place a higher value on asking questions and receiving a thoughtful and informed response. It would not be wise to rely exclusively on email to communicate with this type of learner.
Kinesthetic learners want to experience something to understand it. Product samples and demonstrations, or anything that gives the customer a hands-on experience, will increase the impact of the message.
This is not to suggest that you should conduct a full learning style inventory for each customer; in fact, one good exploratory conversation could provide a great deal of insight on this front. But learning style may be a dimension worth considering when we prepare for a customer meeting or presentation – it’s one more means by which to cultivate common ground while improving the customer’s comprehension and retention of our message.
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